hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,230 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Ford Focus electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Jan 022009


  • 60,000 miles


While driving my 2001 Ford Focus back in November of 2008', I experienced the engine stalling while driving on the freeway. The headlights started to flicker along with the dashlights going haywire. I then drove the vehicle home and had it towed to my auto repair facility. They found nothing wrong and could not do what I described to them. Approx. 1 week later it did the same thing again, this time the check engine light stayed on, and they were able to receive some diagnostic codes. They cleaned some ground wires but stated that was all they could find, the same thing happened a few days later, I called my mechanic, and we both agreed that I should send it to the Ford dealer. I had it towed again, this time to the Ford dealer where I stated that the problem only occurs while it is being driven. After approx. 1 week, the dealer stated they were unable to duplicate the problem, but they advised me that the alternator dropped to 11.5 volts. I advised them to replace with a new alternator. They advised me that they were sure that is what the problem was. On or about 1/2/09, I experienced they same electrical problems that I have been having over the last 2 months. I drove it to the dealership immediately and advise them I was having the same problem and that it was not the $ $550 alternator that I paid for. I again reiterated to them that it has to be driven, to have the symptoms occur. Since I had the new alternator installed I only put on 325 miles. My service manager kory foster with gosch Ford in hemet, ca has only called me twice since 1/2/09. When he calls he has always stated that he cannot find anything and he does not no what the problem is he has not heard of this type of problem with the Ford Focus. I have told him everytime I have seen him and when he calls to drive it ! it is the only way to get it to stall out. The last time he called me which was last week sometime, that I could come get my car if I needed it. I advised him to keep it until it is fixed.

- San Jacinto, CA, USA

problem #41

Oct 272008


  • 116,200 miles
My daughter was driving on the freeway when her car just died, while driving. It started up again immediately, but it has happened several times in the last month. I went online to view recalls, and it stated that 2001 Ford Focus had a recall on this issue. I also found 2 other items that are happening to this vehicle that were also recalls. I made an appointment with the dealer to have these recalls fixed, but when they pulled up the VIN number, they said that there were no recalls for this particular car. The other recall I found was the electrical system, and battery failure. I have already burned up one battery because of this issue. The recall states that the cabes overheat and may melt. This vehicle did this as well. The other recall is where the latch on the back door begins to not latch properly, causing the door to come open while driving. The back door will not latch properly on this vehicle either and at times we have to open and close it several times in order to get it to latch. These 3 recalls are all things that have happened on 2001 Ford Focus vehicles, which our vehicle is, but because our VIN # doesn't match the recalls, they refuse to fix them. These are true safety issues. My daughter could be killed because of these issues. How can I have my vehicle added to these recalls? I am extremely upset and concerned that these items will not be addresses when Ford knows that they are a problem on other 2001 Focus vehicles. I will sue should something happen to my daughter due to this issue and Ford unwillingness to correct the problems.

- Corning, CA, USA

problem #40

Oct 262008


  • 95,000 miles
To best describe what is happening your website has a campaign for my complaint here: www-ODI.NHTSA.dot.gov/cars/problems/defect/results.cfm?action_number=EA02014&searchtype=quicksearch&summary=true the NHTSA campaign id number is 02V288000. My wife drives a 2001 Ford Focus SE. The battery cables and battery are going through extreme corrosion that requires me to clean the connections at least once every 2 weeks. The corrosion is also causing heat that is melting the cables insulation. When the corrosion goes untreated, within 2 weeks the car will not start due to bad connection. The problem right now is that the original complaint was in 2002 and Ford is not recognizing the problem even after me telling them about the recall information I linked above. I have called in a complaint already to the NHTSA but have not heard back. Any help in dealing with this matter is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #39

Sep 272008


  • 108,000 miles


2001 Ford Focus caught on fire under the hood, it started near battery, car is a total loss.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #38

Oct 162002


  • 130,473 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the vehicle was experiencing numerous failures. The main failures were the electrical system, brake system, bent tie rod, shaking and vibrating, rear window mechanisms, and flooding after it rains. The leak occurs on the passenger side and the water rises 2 to 3 inches. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer due to the inspection costs. The failure mileage was 130,473.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #37

Nov 102004


  • 23,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the side view mirror on the vehicle was repaired and the transmission also slipped. After the repairs were complete, the vehicle did not drive the same. The dealer stated that the parts needed were not in stock and they kept the vehicle for one month. In addition, whenever the left turn signal was activated, the vehicle would shut off entirely. The lights were replaced; however, the vehicle continued to lose power whenever the signal lights, hazard lights, or air conditioning were activated. The headlights continued to short and, while driving at night, the high beams had to be activated. The seat belt in the rear driver's seat was inoperable and the driver's seat continued to move backwards from the steering wheel. She also stated that the key can be removed from the ignition while the vehicle is in motion and while the ignition is on. Finally, none of the warning lights on the instrument panel are functional. The failure mileage was 23,000 and current mileage was 95,000.

- Moreno Valley , CA, USA

problem #36

Aug 222008


  • miles


I will start with the fact the car is on it's fourth battery. It has had the wiring harness replaced along with every sensor in the car some twice. There was a steering column recall done on it. The two back windows tracks have been broke a total of six times. The door handles brake three so far. The stereo is broke for the second time. I have had to do the brakes twice so far and all this and the car only has 63,498.8 miles.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #35

Jun 022008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
The wiring in my 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 that connects the rear hatch to the front of the car deteriorates significantly. The wiring on my car has stripped through the insulation, and has broken 4 of the 8 wires completely in half. This disables the center brake light, the license plate lights, the windshield wiper, and the trunk lid causing a potentially hazardous situation.

- Cedarburg, WI, USA

problem #34

May 192008


  • 150,000 miles
The ignition in my 2001 Ford Focus won't turn, leaving me stranded. This is the 3rd time this has happened, each one leaving me stranded in different parts of the state.

- Oakville, WA, USA

problem #33

Mar 182008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles
I bought this car in jul07. In dec07 started having problems with car surging/jolting while driving on highway (55-65 mph) then car would just stall, completely die. Engine light would come on, no power steering no lights. I would manage to get it over to the side of the road narrowly avoiding accident and car would not start. After sat for about 10 mins it would start. It would drive ok for about 10-20 miles and then surge and die. It happens periodically and in between the car may drive fine for weeks. Service center can't find anything wrong with it. It just happened again 3-18-08 while I was driving on interstate at 65mph, jolted twice and completely died. I was nearly killed as a semi was behind me and another beside me. I had to fight the car to get it off the side of the road and narrowly missed the semi running up over the top of me. After sitting for 10 min it started again but would not reach full power. I could only get it up to about 50 mph, then started jolting and died again after about 6 miles this continued for 30 miles. Engine light was on. I had that read by adv auto later and it was two codes one for mass airflow sensor. It has been in service garage since then. They can't find anything wrong with it. I did notice that this seems to only be happening when it rains. They sprayed water today on the front of the car while it was running and it died in their shop. They still have no idea what is wrong with it. It also has a loud vibration/noise in front end. Motor mounts have been changed, new alternator, new battery, new belt replaced Dec 27,07. The vehicle died again Feb 5, 2008 6 times. It dies at all speeds and sometimes stalls at stop lights/signs. I am extremely frustrated with it and need a reliable car to get to work and am making car payments on a car that has been in the shop 36 days in the last 90. Also very concerned about causing an accident or killing myself, my kids or someone else.

- Saint Marys, OH, USA

problem #32

Dec 302007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles


I have a 2001 Ford Focus. For the past 3 years now I have had a problem with the battery discharging. I have had the battery replaced more than once and this is not the problem. Recently, my car did not start 12/22 and again on 12/26, 12/27 and now today, 12/30/07. I had to have someone jumpstart my car each time except this morning. No one is available this early in the morning. I am tired of Ford saying they cannot find the problem. I know there are hundreds of people out there having this problem. We need Ford to come forward and admit ownership of this problem and either fix our cars at no charge or issue a blanket recall or something. I cannot afford the towing charges, the days off work while the car is in the shop etc. This will go on for a couple of weeks and then I can go 3 months, maybe 6 months with no problems. I have tried not using my dome light and keeping it in the off position. I manually turn off my radio and headlights before leaving the car in case that was what was draining the battery, but that was not the problem. I do notice that a couple of days before the battery goes dead the car will start lunging a couple of days in advance but only about one time per day.

- Lansing, IL, USA

problem #31

Aug 092007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles
The car almost stalls then surges like a kick. It happens mostly at around 30mph. All the lights come on and the speedometer and gas gauge go all the way up and then back down to zero then everything goes back to normal. I had the battery replaced but now the problem is back after only 2 weeks with a new battery. I took to a repair shop and they cannot find the problem.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #30

May 222007


  • 68,000 miles
Ignition key currently cannot be removed from lock. Previous to this status, it was very difficult to turn once inserted. Problem evolves between these two types of issues. See Ford tsb 05-21-17. Issues are well known. Failure means that one either is stuck somewhere and cannot get the car started (think winter and Maine) or, as currently is the case, having to leave the key in the ignition while out and about! Ford refuses to cover the cost of the repair although this is a well known issue and should be, in my opinion, a recall. First incident was 22 May 2007 but issue will not go away without a costly repair.

- York, ME, USA

problem #29

Jul 272006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,562 miles
I own a 2001 Ford Focus ztech. My car was stalling at random in the middle of driving and finally wouldnt start at all. I took it to a dealership. They said my battery cables were melted, so they replaced them, rerouted them, along with my clips, etc. They couldn't figure out why my cables would be like that and said that is probably why my car doesn't start all the time, but they couldn't be positive so they recommended that I replace my starter as well. They charged me $998. This also happened to me in previous years. I went to the vehicle recall site and see that Ford started a recall in 2003 on this very same problem. Why didn't I receive recall information on my car? I've stalled before in the middle of traffic last year for the same problem and had my battery replaced. This happens too much. I have small children's safety to worry about. What bothers me in addition to that is that the Ford dealership that I used should have noticed this recall and related it to my vehicle's problem. I feel this is a terrible safety issue, and I can't afford to keep getting new batteries/cables and starters. Also, my key keeps getting stuck in the ignition, and Ford won't do anything about that either, even though my dealer said it's a very common problem with this product. They said it would cost me at least $400 to fix it. I've already gotten stuck at a store twice. It just works when it wants to.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #28

Aug 122006

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving my 2001 Ford Focus in the left lane of a 2 lane highway at about 40 mph when I turned the ac on and the car just stopped. I took it to a garage and they told me I needed a new compressor which would cost 1000 dollars..I found a garage that would do it for less using a used one...my problem was this would happen every time I turned the air or the defroster on. I was afraid I would cause an accident..and am still afraid today when I drive it far..wondering if it will stall out at high speed again and cause me to have an accident. I also have had problems with the key jamming and not turning and my newest problem is I stopped for gas and when I tried to start it all I got was a clicking sound..

- Rahway, NJ, USA

problem #27

Feb 182006


  • miles
This complaint is in response to help another person in electrical complaints. The flicker you have with your 2001 Focus is supposedly a ground issue to the chassis. It appears to have fixed my problem with the instruments and headlights and anything electrical flickering sporadically. The fix is pretty cheap under 20 bucks and you could do it yourself if you are somewhat mechanical. As for my complaint. For a car to be in the top 10 for a few years and a great economy car this is not the car with an answer. I have such replaced 2 alternators under warranty, 3 batteries before I fixed my ground problem. Replaced pvc valve 2 times, radiator, trunk release actuator, numerous headlights and fog lights, radiator and hoses that were busted from overheating, couple of belts, driver door lock, something with the gas tank I think to be a fuel pump. All of this with 30K on the car. Since then I have only replaced tires and rims on the car at 130K I decided to replace any part after warranty with aftermarket gear. So now the car has a cold air intake, svt engine, aem on board computer to adjust with laptop, nitrous, aftermarket hella lights, new paint job, new dash indiglo lights, new stereo speakers, interior. So after all this I guess I should have just bought a Lexus and called it a day. The car now runs great and has not had a single part failure since.

- Camden, SC, USA

problem #26

Jun 172006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,600 miles
Electrical system seems to be shorting out. Interior lamps flash and flicker. Side mirrors work sporadically. Headlamps flash and flicker on occasion. Nothing has been done to correct this due to lack of funds.

- Bemidji, MN, USA

problem #25

Jan 072006


  • miles
Went so sears auto center at 9570 South West freeway houston Texas 77074. For a tire change they charge $156 and also told me that my car rotors were broken and need shoe/pad to be replaced. And car not to be driven. Total amount $571. Called next morning to cancel work because I decided to take to dealer Ford. But that time car wasn't fixed yet cause they told me to pay first but I didn't have a credit card with me that night so I left it there and took bus. They charge 271. Next morning for some shoe/pad which I took my car the the regular mechanic and they told me that sears did not change anything on my car. So I pay that many my car is still not fixed. I have to drive my car because I don't have another way to move. So please help me to to get my money back or to get my car fixed.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #24

Dec 182001

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,001 miles
2001 Ford Focus experiencing problems with the front brakes, fuel pump, battery, sway bars and tires. The consumer replaced the front brakes five times, the radiator went out, the thermostat and sensors pertaining to the engine light ad gone out, the fuel pump and the battery went out and the mechanic could not find the problem. Currently the starter showed signs of going out and the vehicle needed sway bars and 4 tires.

- Verona, NJ, USA

problem #23

Jun 082005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
Dt. the consumers vehicle would hesitate, surge and lose power and then shut off. After letting the vehicle sit for awhile the consumer was able to restart the vehicle. There were times when the consumer attempted to apply the accelerator and the vehicle would not go pass 60- 70 mph, when the consumer experienced this, the front of the vehicle would vibrate.

- Macon, GA, USA

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